Introduction: Keyhole Garden

A keyhole garden is a two-meter-wide circular raised garden with a keyhole-shaped indentation on one side. The indentation allows gardeners to add uncooked vegetable scraps, greywater, and manure into a composting basket that sits in the center of the bed. In this way, composting materials can be added to the basket throughout the growing season to provide nutrients for the plants.

The keyhole garden was developed in Lesotho by the Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE), based upon a design that originated with CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, formerly Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) in Zimbabwe.

Step 1: Materials

You can use recycled materials such as old bricks, wood or other ....

Step 2: Draw the Circles

Draw two circles on the earth. an external one with a diameter of 2 meters and an internal one with a diameter of 50 cm.

Step 3: Move the Earth

Remove the earth upside down to facilitate your work.

Step 4: The Inner Basket

Create the inner basket with the reeds close enough, more or less 5cm distance between one and the other reed. Here is the first mistake that I have done: reeds to wide let the composting materials spill over the plants...

Step 5: The KEY HOLE

Draw the keyhole with bricks. Here my second mistake which I fixed later. the entrance to reach the inner basket is too narrow.

Step 6: Firts Layer of Bricks

Here the entrance is more wide and comfortable to add uncooked vegetable scraps, greywater, and manure into a composting basket that sits in the center of the bed

Step 7: Cardboard Layer

Put a cardboard layer as firts step.

Here I used a cardboard that is used in shipping packaging because it is not waterproof. The cardboard is placed to prevent spontaneous weeds from taking over the keyhole garden.

Step 8: Second Layer

To make the second layer you need tree pruning, some stones and various wood cuttings, so as to be able to raise the internal level of the keyhole garden enough.

It may seem that a keyhole garden with a diameter of 2 meters is small but you also had to calculate the height and I assure you you will need a lot of material to fill ...

I took the second image from this site:

Step 9: Third Step

In this step we put a layer of straw and then we put some earth so as to compact everything. You can use earth of any quality maybe mixed with ash will be optimum....

Step 10: The Soil

Put the last level with a 2cm of natural fertilized soil for all plants.

Step 11: Almost at the End

Here's the funniest part! Select the plants you want and place them in radius. Remember to alternate plants with edible roots (carrots, bowls, garlic) with green leafy ones (lettuce, spinach, other).

Step 12: Your Keyhole Garden Is Ready !

As a last step put fine layer of straw to protect your baby plants from the winter that is coming.